by Steve Smith

The object of my desire was both gloriously complex and orderly at the same time.  Just as the balance of order and diversity in a beautiful nature scene reveals God’s omnipotence so too the object of my desire reflected the powerful intellect that had conceived it.  A marvelous array of buttons, sliders, and knobs and right in their midst such a novelty for its time – an LED screen.

The Appeal of Transhumanism

It was the early 1990’s and that was a Kurzweil k2500.  A world-class digital keyboard and synthesizer, and impossibly expensive (approaching $4,000) for a ramen-noodle-eating grad student.  But ever since then I have followed its creator, Ray Kurzweil, with great interest.  That stunning keyboard was the product of little more than the weekend’s tinkering for Mr. Kurzweil’s lively mind, the fruits of which have transformed many different technological frontiers.

That same lively mind anticipates the technological “singularity” (the point of explosive technological growth) is right around the corner and will bring a melding of man and machine.  Mr. Kurzweil founded the Singularity Institute to quicken the arrival of that future.

Mr. Kurzweil also hopes to live forever.

And he currently works for Google.

Just like that keyboard, the promises of transhumanism are dazzling – live a smarter, healthier, longer, and more peaceful, meaningful life.  Our brains, fallen as they are, are wired to respond, “I want that.”  But if we listen closely, our spirit sounds a warning.

Transhumanism Is Upon Us

Transhumanism is the utopian fantasy of enhancing and evolving the human being, intellectually and physiologically, through a range of technologies such as biological, cognitive, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence.  Will we be more man or more machine or an indistinguishable melding of both?  None can say but if the futurists achieve their dream, we will no longer be human.  On a not-so-side note, you’ll find scant discussion of what this transformation would mean for our spiritual soul.

Like most evils, transhumanism won’t arrive all at once.  It will be injected into society a little at a time; incrementalism is the delivery method of choice.  As an example, Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, JD (who specializes in medical ethics) provides a hypothetical that could soon be a reality in a neighborhood near you.

She describes Alex, a slender adolescent with well-to-do parents, and who desires to be more muscular.  They find a doctor willing to provide a form of gene therapy that is known to increase muscle mass.

Alex’s request might be a product of the social and cultural environment. The request might reflect issues with self-image.  The desire to be stronger could reveal a psychological problem that needs to be resolved. Or a physician could conclude that Alex is suffering, thereby making the case for gene therapy more compelling.

What is a physician to do in this case?  And should the physician limit the therapy to “confer only traits within the normal range of human characteristics?”  And how is that even determined?

As a general Christian principle, we should accept the body that God has given us.  Rather than changing our physique to suit our preferences, we should allow God to use our physique to reorder and sanctify our self-image and psyche.  In Alex’s case, learning to be grateful for the body God ordained for him is part of working out his salvation, as St. Paul would say.

Now, this is all a tremendous over-simplification.  To be sure there is room for rich and meaningful conversation around medicine and the human body.  There are many aspects of human health where we gratefully receive the God-given benefits of scientific enhancement (just ask anyone who’s had Lasik eye surgery).

But wherever the gray line is that separates legitimate medical science from Frankensteinian madness, in a few years we’ll be ready to hurdle right over it.

Who will protect society from leaping into that self-destructive future?

Medical Science Won’t Protect Us from Transhumanism

At every turn, science has proven unable to withstand the cultural pressures of a fallen world.  And why would it be otherwise?  Secular science (unhinged from Christendom) is part of that fallen world.  Here’s a sampling of the ethical failures of medical science:

Transgenderism.  The psychiatric community has steadily moved to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism, notably through changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) to purge any negative framing of homosexuality and gender dysphoria.  This has advanced to the point that we now have widespread acceptance of permanent surgical procedures to “transition” prepubescent children.

Embryonic Research.  It has been a long-held standard in medical research to halt the gestation of embryonic human beings at 14-days.  We now have significant pressure from the Biden Administration and scientific community to lift this standard and open the door, particularly, to “chimera” research – combining human and animal cells in a developing embryo.  Sit back and think about that for a minute.

Abortion.  How swiftly we’ve moved from “safe, legal and rare” to “shouting abortions.”  And now with the so-called success of the covid vaccines, there will be ever greater pressure to harvest new cell lines from aborted babies.

Speaking of covid, look at how science has been corrupted to propel the global takeover.  The anti-science and anti-human masking and lockdowns only increased suffering with no demonstrable benefit to public health.  Then there was the literal re-writing of scientific definitions of herd immunity and vaccine.  And, the ever-moving targets of PCR testing and statistics of cases, hospitalizations and mortality, to best support the desired narrative.  And, the suppression of effective early therapies  (which would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives) to pave the way for the emergency use authorization of experimental vaccines, which are now being pushed on children, pregnant women, and the covid-recovered (who already have a much superior natural immunity).

Bottom line – the scientific community has shown itself incapable of ethical restraint.  They, and the cultural elites who hold their leash, won’t safeguard us from the transhumanism lunacy.

Don’t Count on the Church Either

The Church is our spiritual home and safe harbor.  She is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.  There is no question that the Holy Spirit guides the Church and will keep Her from dogmatically proclaiming evil.  That said, it is a different matter whether we can depend on clarity from the human Church hierarchy in response to unfolding world events.

Let’s see, for example, how the Church hierarchy has fared in response to recent medical issues:

Abortion.  The official Church teaching on abortion as intrinsically evil has remained clear and consistent.  But we see increasing confusion in the hierarchy on bringing this truth into the world.  Look no further than inconsistent and mostly weak response to the scandal of many political leaders’ stunningly aggressive expansion of abortion, while claiming to be devout Catholics.  And there is increasing pressure within the hierarchy to deemphasize abortion, claiming it is counterproductive.

Transgenderism.  The Church hierarchy has failed to provide a unified, truthful, inviting response to transgenderism.  Mostly the emphasis has been on accompaniment with no mention of conversion for those living outside of Christian truth.  How many parishioners are even aware of the Courage and Encourage ministries?

Covid and Stem Cell Research.  The Church has, at best, been caught flat-footed on this.  The Church’s approval of the abortion-tainted vaccines (for the record, they’re all tainted) is at odds with the depth of abortion evil connected to the vaccines and the degree of medical dishonesty that has been perpetrated to advance the myth of the necessity of universal vaccination.  For my part, I stand with the countervailing opinion of the likes of Bishops Strickland and Athanasius Schneider and Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Lee Vliet, as do many other prelates and faithful.

More about those vaccines – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement on vaccines, besides being ethically questionable, goes so far as to imply that vaccination is a moral responsibility – undermining the conscience rights of Catholics who have good reason to refuse being injected.

The bottom line on the issues of the day, you can find a range of opinions held within the Church hierarchy, and it’s not a given that on any specific issue the hierarchy’s majority (or at least, most vocal) opinion is correct.  In the author’s opinion, on the examples of abortion, transgender and covid, the majority opinion seems to be mostly incorrect.

Will our hierarchy provide sound, unambiguous ethical guidance on transhuman enhancements and therapies?  Do not rely on it.

Your Only Answer

To paraphrase George Bailey confronting Mr. Potter, “Well, Steve, what’s your point?”

My point is this: transhumanism is upon us and your only answer to it is “no, thank you.”

There.  That wasn’t so hard.

Except there’s one tiny, little catch.  By saying “no, thank you” you are saying “yes, I agree to be a second-class citizen.”  Or, in the words of Davos-darling Yuval Noal Harari, part of the “useless class.”

Seriously.  Everyone else will be smarter and stronger than you.  They’ll probably even smell like ocean breezes and cedar forests without using deodorant.

How will you have the strength of will say “no” to that?  And, why should you?  Why say “no” to that simple little “cognitive enhancement”?  All it does is increase your working memory a little and boost your IQ a few points.  What’s so bad about that?  I can barely remember where I put my glasses, and they’re always on my head.  A little extra memory would be nice.

And who wouldn’t want to be as fit as an Olympic champion?  And without doing a blessed thing but undergoing a little painless gene therapy.

And it’s not just you we are talking about.  It’s your children.  Who doesn’t want the best for their kids?  Who can live with watching their kids become part of the “useless class?”

The pressure is going to be overwhelming.  Satan is unmatched at pushing his goods and services on people.

And yet we must say “no”.  Because each little therapy and enhancement will make it that much harder for us to commune with God in our spiritual soul (we’ll look more at why that is in a future article).

The Answer to Your Only Answer

So where will we find the strength to say “no?”   Where we always do.  The Lord.

This is a big “no.”  So we must be closer to the Lord than ever before.

That is why we all must become mystics.  We all must be spending daily time in mental prayer (Christian meditation) as well as remaining close to the Sacraments and doing our best to grow in holiness (growth in virtue and denial of self).

Now is not the time to be lulled into complacency.  The opening invitations to transhumanism will be making their way to you and your loved ones before you know it.

Well, that’s enough darkness for now.  Let’s step back into the light.  We’ve recently celebrated Pentecost.  That’s a good reminder of the true and only source of Human Enhancement.  So let’s close with that reminder.  Here’s how Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange describes it:

By degrees the spirit of Christ will take the place of our spirit’s way of thinking, feeling, judging, loving, willing, doing, and suffering, a mental outlook which is extremely cramped and superficial since it is materially dependent on our physical temperament, on our heredity, on the influence of our surrounding circumstances and on the ideas of our time and locality.  It is this spirit which must slowly yield ground to the spirit of Christ, to his way of looking at things, of judging, feeling, loving, acting, and suffering.  Only then is Christ truly living within us.

Reprinted courtesy of Catholic Stand